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The Definition of an Apostle The Definition of an Apostle

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The Definition of an Apostle

Posted by: Jerry Lindsey on Thu, Dec 24, 2009


What is the definition of an Apostle?  Is it Eph 4:11? No, that’s the work of the five fold Ministry! An Apostle is a messenger of GOD (one who is sent). The entire Five-fold are sent of God. So what’s the big deal? Which is most important? It’s the Teacher as Jesus was.

20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;Eph 2:20 (KJV)

The Apostles are a part the foundation that we build upon. They are NOT more important than any other part of the five fold. It’s all about GOD’S business, not ours. There is NO need to set up what has already been established by GOD. His work has been complete by the Chief Corner stone (Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior). The great question today is do we have or need Apostles today? Let’s get beyond this ignorance.

38 But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant. 1 Cor 14:38 (KJV)

 The name Apostle denotes principally one of the twelve disciples who, on a solemn occasion, were called by Christ to a special mission. In theGospels, however, those disciples are often designated by the expressions of mathetai (the disciples) or dodeka (the Twelve) and, after the treason and death of Judas, even of hendeka (the Eleven). In the Synoptics the name Apostle occurs but seldom with this meaning; only once in Matthew and Mark. But in other books of the New Testament, chiefly in the Epistles of St. Paul and in the Acts, this use of the word is current. Saul of Tarsus, being miraculously converted, and called to preach the Gospel to the heathens, claimed with much insistency this title and its rights.

In the Epistle to the Hebrews (iii, 1) the name is applied even to Christ, in the original meaning of a delegate sent from God to preach revealed truth to the world.
The word Apostle has also in the New Testament a larger meaning, and denotes some inferior disciples who, under the direction of the Apostles, preached the Gospel, or contributed to its diffusion; thus Barnabas (Acts 14:4, 14), probably Andronicus and Junias (Romans 16:7), Epaphroditus(Philippians 2:25), two unknown Christians who were delegated for the collection in Corinth (2 Corinthians 7:23). We know not why the honourable name of Apostle is not given to such illustrious missionaries as Timothy, Titus, and others who would equally merit it.The authority of the Apostles proceeds from the office imposed upon them by Our Lord and is based on the very explicit sayings of Christ Himself. He will be with them all days to the end of ages (Matthew 28:20), give a sanction to their preaching (Mark 16:16), send them the "promise of the Father", "virtue from above" (Luke 24:49). The Acts of the Apostles and the Epistles of the New show us the exercise of this authority. The Apostle makes laws(Acts 15:29; 1 Corinthians 7:12 sq.), teaches (Acts 2:37 and following), claims for his teaching that it should be received as the word of God (1 Thessalonians 2:13), punishes (Acts 5:1-11; 1 Corinthians 5:1-5), administers the sacred rites (Acts 6:1 sq.; 16:33; 20:11), provides successors (2 Timothy 1:6; Acts 14:22). In the modern theological terms the Apostle, besides the power of order, has a general power of jurisdiction and magisterium (teaching). The former embraces the power of making laws judging on religious matters, and enforcing obligations by means of suitable penalties. The latter includes the power of setting forth with authority Christ's doctrine. It is necessary to add here that an Apostle could receive new revealed truths in order to propose them to the Church. This, however, is something wholly personal to the Apostles.

11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Eph 4:11-12 (KJV)

5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; Eph 3:5 (KJV)

27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. 28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? 30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? 31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way. 1 Cor 12:27-31 (KJV)

14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. Rev 21:14 (KJV)


10 His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. 11 Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter. Isaiah 56:10-11 (KJV)


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